Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Ed Sessa


AGIO (2D: Foreign exchange fee)?! What the hell is that? It wouldn't have mattered if our African geography were up to snuff, or if we knew the first thing about Mötley Crüe, but it isn't and we don't. I also couldn't think of anything to go with 17A: ____ pink (TICKLED), but luckily, Frannie noticed that the circles all had TICK or TOCK in them, so that helped a lot.

Best clue: 62A: Half moon? (BUTTOCK). Second best: 18A: Fruitcake (NUTCASE). Honorable mention: 60A: It may be read to a miscreant (RIOTACT).

I didn't love this. Lots I didn't know (HENTOFF, AUDIE, CLARO, some I didn't like AMOF, AROO, EEKS, AOKS, and "58A: :-), for one" - that's an EMOTICON, not just an ICON.

Lastly, it's Earth Day, and I wish that had been commemorated with more than the clue for 1D: Smoky-voiced Eartha (KITT) :-). I kid, but seriously, why not? We get puzzles for Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and the I Have A Dream speech, and who knows what all else. Perhaps Earth Day should be the theme for the first puzzle I submit to the NYT…

- Horace


  1. 10:45
    I thought there'd be an Earth Day-themed puzzle, too, and had the same reaction with ICON. That just seems sloppy. I agree with Horace's list of today's best answers. I loved, also, MCLINTOCK (I'm a fan) and thought that maybe DWL would have known ISOMER (45A Chemical twin (did everyone else have odd symbols everywhere in their clues?)). Also, I thought it was a nice clue for 33D He sings "Rubber Duckie, you're the one / You make bath time lots of fun" (ERNIE). And didn't we just see a related clue to 41A Full complement of dwarfs (SEVEN), except reverse? I suppose my least favorite was 36D Suffix with buck (AROO), which Horace mentions above. I think we've seen enough of that one.

  2. 7:37. Let me add my own lackluster review of this puzzle to the ones that have preceded me. The theme is poor: all these TICKs and TOCKs beg for a clever reveal answer or at least some topical reason to think about clocks. Instead they simply create poor fill to justify all of the T-CKs. So, let's note a few things I did like: the aforementioned BUTTOCK cluing, the presence of COSEC and SINE, and STUCCOS, which reminds me of frescoes... did I mention that I was in Italy recently, and saw the Sistine chapel with its astounding frescoes? Funny aside from our Vatican guide: on more than one occasion, she's had American tourists ask what happened to the other fifteen chapels...

  3. I love how you brought it around to Italy again - I didn't see it coming, but no way - there is no way anyone has ever asked that. How could that be?!

    Also, I just realized that maybe it IS an Earth Day theme after all, and the ticking is just counting down the time we've got left on this rock. HA! Brilliant!